A Global Research Institute of Queen's University Belfast


Prof Paulo A. Prodöhl
Chair of Population and Evolutionary Genetics
Prof Paulo A. Prodöhl Chair of Population and Evolutionary Genetics

The sustained supply of fish and shellfish is now a major food security priority. The fishing industry provides the main source of animal protein for over one billion people globally. While fish and shellfish are among the most highly traded food commodities, they are also among the most vulnerable in sustainability of supply.

As a consequence of several factors including overexploitation, inadequate regulations, poor implementation and enforcement, inadequate information on exploited species and ecosystems, failure to follow scientific advice and/or inappropriate management strategies and global warming, the majority of fisheries worldwide have been declining over the past several decades. Many capture fisheries are currently unsustainable, so the security of supply is under threat. To meet the increasing demand for fish and shellfish on the global market, aquaculture industry has been growing at an accelerated rate. Aquaculture is now one of the fastest growing food-production sectors, currently accounting for some 50% of the world’s fish supply.

Considering that aquaculture heavily relies on the use of natural resources, the growth of this industry has been confronted by many environmental and technical challenges including, for instance, pollution and eutrophication, alteration of local biological systems through predation and competition, disease transmission, habitat degradation, global warming, biological invasions, genetic changes and/or loss of native stocks, quality control and traceability. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture is now a priority of UN and other international organisations.

Scientists currently working in Marine and Freshwater Biological Resources projects combine fundamental and applied research to provide relevant and high-quality scientific knowledge to advance the practical implementation of management for the sustainable and secure supply of marine and freshwater-based food resources from fisheries and aquaculture. The team is involved in the development and implementation of bio-molecular tools derived from cutting-edge disciplines (e.g. genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, foodomics) in combination with theoretical and computational modelling of fisheries and aquaculture and their supporting ecological communities to inform sustainable management of food resources. The team is active in several national and international funded research consortia working on specific aspects of the management of aquatic biological resources.

Staff (tentative list):